From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Board of Pensions Clarifies News Reports of Hearings
04 May 1996 20:32:34
95448 Board of Pensions Clarifies News Reports of Hearings
by Jerry L. Van Marter
PHILADELPHIA--The Board of Pensions has issued a clarification regarding
published reports, including one by the Presbyterian News Service (PNS),
that the board docketed time for public comments on its revised "Relief of
Conscience" program for major medical plan members and church employers who
are opposed to abortion.
PNS reporter Julian Shipp accurately quoted pension board chair Eugene
Sibery as saying that the board scheduled time at its October meeting to
hear public comments on the revised policy. "In fact," wrote Board of
Pensions corporate secretary George T. Adams on Dec. 7, "additional time
was docketed for the Board's discussion of the [Relief of Conscience] Task
Group's proposal, but not necessarily for public comment."
Adams outlined the process by which the task force and then the board
revised the relief policy. That process included two conferences during
1995 and an invitation to interested persons or groups to submit written
responses to the proposal. It was the written accounts of the conferences
plus the written responses that the board reviewed and discussed prior to
its vote on the revised policy.
"All interested parties were informed of the board meeting in
advance," Adams wrote. "The Board of Pensions follows the open meetings
policies of the General Assembly."
The new Relief of Conscience policy goes into effect Jan. 1, 1996.
"The Board believes this new practice further insulates the funds of those
employing organizations and churches who for reasons of conscience object
to medical payment of abortion," Adams concluded.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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